my 18 month old black lab is maybe playing a little too seriously at the dog park?? Or am I too sensitive?
I anticipate someone mentioning the ills of dog parks. Fact: I like mine.
Beulah is starting to get more used to it, we have been taking her there for about a month, but she sometimes almost crosses that line between growling for play and growling for MEAN.
The other dogs have yet to get aggressive with her, so I wonder if it isn't just me being too sensitive. Although some dogs do look at her like "sheesh, stop yelling at me" But she is a growler. She chases them off, but doesn't pursue them after that for a fun romp around. She goes: growl, snarl, growl (without touching)... until they are away then she wanders back to where she was. Sometimes she will chase for fun, and she does that slap the ground in front of them and prepare to play, thing. So she does actually "play" too. But usually: growling.
I have thought that she is protecting me, so I try to stay out of the equation and stay far away from her so she doesn't have to run anyone off.
The one thing that she is GREAT about, is if anyone gets upset, or I get nervous about something, I call her to me, and she comes right over. She has yet to pursue ANYTHING if I tell her to stop. She stops.
So how do I teach her to run, play, "fly, be free" but do so a little more gently? I don't want to make her think that I am telling her "no" to playing.
OR, would those of you who dislike dog parks say that that is the problem of dog parks?
yes, we are starting obedience classes soon (not until December) when the next class starts.
I do not like taking my dogs to dog parks, and this reasom is the biggest, i am fortunate to be part of a club that understands dogs and thier behavior a bit more than the average joe at the dog park. first dogs do not speak, so they are limited on saying on what they want. you have probably seen before. 2 dogs, doing what apears to be a horrible fight. yet, both dogs come away untouched. this is communication. i stay out of it. most people do get crazy and start yelling and acting like banshees. this only adds to the choas. and gets most dogs even more riled up. then what happens next is a bone head move. punishment. for what? an argument. this happens a few times. and the dog starts to figure out that the presense of other dogs is a bad thing and now hates other dogs more. now what i would do for your dog. is set the dog up for success. let the dog play. but somewhere she it is either not play or it is just to damn exciting. you need to leave the park before this happens. your is getting fustrated somewhere. she just cannot contain herself. this will get better with age. and can be speed up by not letting her "spin out". this is where you are going to have get good at reading her. we have dogs at our club that do same thing. they are so driven to train that after 5 minutes some them get some so excited, thier training falls apart. and usually what a novice would do is train more and apply more discpline. but an experienced handler would stop before the dog looses control. after you leave, do not just go and load up and go home. take her for a walk. mellow her out. and this also will make leaving not a negative, but just the start of more fun.
Gunny, I understand what you are saying. She IS better when not at the dog park. She still plays agressively with dogs one-on-one, but when they are one-on-one, you can tell that she is LOVING it.
I know that the dog park makes her nervous because we walk home from it and she is very wound up afterward. One time she just sat there in the park and didn't play with anyone, and right when we left the park she started playing with me, slapping the ground, jumping all over me and grabbing her leash and thrashing around and just getting all that pent up energy OUT!!!!
The other owners don't mind that she growls and acts that way. And generally, their dogs don't mind. No one is too overly "worried" (although there is always someone there doting a little too closely.)
More than anything, she is SUCH a people dog, she cares about NOTHING more than people and I just want to be sure to allow her the opportunity to be comfortable running around with dogs, and to be running around without MOMMY playing with her.
Ultimately I know I will be her favorite thing to hang out with, but I still want her to feel comfortable getting out there.
The best way to get your point accross to the dog is removeing him from the fun when he gets to be a bit of a bully. Go to him leash him and give him a time out. The time out can be a minute, and then let him go again. But the message will really get accross if he is haveing a good time. In his mind your saying to him, if you play nice you can continue to play, but being a bully gets you a time out and you stop playing. Can you describe some of the dog breeds hes playing with? Breeds like boxers and Rottis have loped ears and no tails which signals submission to your dog. So he may be responding to that. Find a shep or something with stand up ears and regular tail to play with, so natural body language signal can be read, see what happens.